Improving Firefox session restore

I use Firefox session restore regularly.  This saves all my open tabs whenever Firefox closes (or crashes) and restores them when it reopens.  Unfortunately, there are still cases where Firefox will forget my open tabs.  This happens, for example, when I close my main window, thinking that I’m closing Firefox, but then I realize that there is still a pop-up window open.  When I restart Firefox, that popup will be restored instead of my old tab list!

I have not yet found a way to recover the tabs.  What a sinking feeling this leaves you with!  My open tabs are sometimes the result of several weeks’ worth of browsing.  I’ve grown better at saving links using del.icio.us rather than holding them in open tags, and obviously I need to work harder at this.  But I often still have up to 20 tabs open at any given time, waiting to be read.

This happened to me again today.  So I resolved one more time to try to find a solution.  And I did!  I found and installed Tab Mix Plus (I installed the latest TMP development build).  This Firefox plugin remembers your sessions from more than just the most recently closed window.  So if you close your main window first but find a popup lingering, you can close the popup without worrying that you have lost the tabs from your main window.  What a relief!

Here are the settings that I chose in TMP:

  1. When you first enable Tab Mix Plus, it asks you whether you want to use the Firefox session restore feature.  The TMP session restore is much better than Firefox’s, so choose No.
  2. Go to Tools|Tab Mix Plus Options to choose other options.
    1. Click the “Events” icon.  On the “Tab Features” tab, un-check “Ctrl-Tab navigates tabs in the most recently used order.”  This will set Ctrl+Tab to behave the way it usually does in Firefox.
    2. Click the “Session” icon.
      1. Make sure that “Use Firefox’s built-in Session Restore feature” is not checked.
      2. Under “When Browser Starts”, select “Restore”.
      3. Under “When Browser Exits”, make sure “Save Session” is selected.

Tab Mix Plus provides additional control over your browser sessions.  Using the Tools|Session Manager menu, you can manually save sessions, and also restore older sessions.

Blocking ads

For awhile now I’ve been using a tool to block advertisements in my web browsing. Here’s how to install it:

  1. Do you use “Firefox” to surf the web? If not, I recommend it; you can get it here. This ad blocking tool only works with Firefox (though I understand there are ad blockers for other browsers).
  2. Once you have Firefox installed, visit Adblock Plus to install the ad blocker:
    1. Click on the “Install Adblock Plus” link.
    2. A bar will pop up indicating that the install was blocked.
    3. Click the “Options” button on the bar and enable installations for this website.
    4. Click on the “Install Adblock Plus” link again, then click on the “Install” button.
  3. When it asks you which blocking list to subscribe to, choose the “EasyList” blocking list. Once a week your computer will check this list to see if there are any new known ads to be blocked.

After you do this you should rarely see ads in Firefox.